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27 August 2020


MUSIC HAS always helped in blocking out work distractions. Working from home has one big perk: playing music the way you want it, without having to worry about distracting your officemates. Spotify is my music service preference: Pandora isn't available in India, and YouTube Music's dashboard is too clumsy to use on my gadgets. Back in the office days, I listened to Spotify through earphones. Now, at home, I have Spotify filling the room with its gloriousness through my sound system.

Spotify's hundreds of premade playlists wrap up the moods of every working hour, from "Morning Motivation" and "Classical Reading" to "Afternoon Acoustic" and "Evening Jazz". Four of my go-to artists—Lisa Stansfield, Matt Bianco, Simply Red, and Swing Out Sister—are easily navigable on Spotify, so my work music is truly diversified.

However, those automatically generated playlists can't be personal enough. They also become predictable and repetitive over time. So I've started creating my own playlists. My first is, naturally, Barbra Streisand. This one, though, is about discovery: Streisand songs performed by the composers and lyricists themselves. It's fun to look for and sequence these songs as they have a strong musical connection. I discovered 125 songs for this playlist, and I plan to expand it further.

I invite you to listen to "Barbra Streisand Uncovered", and imagine how Ms. Streisand first heard the songs she sang . . . the way the songwriters played it.


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